ACT II
Scene I.
 

London. Before the Boar's Head Tavern, Eastcheap

Enter CORPORAL NYM and LIEUTENANT BARDOLPH

BARDOLPH
Well met, Corporal Nym.

NYM
Good morrow, Lieutenant Bardolph.

BARDOLPH
What, are Ancient Pistol and you friends yet?

NYM
For my part, I care not; I say little, but when time shall
serve, there shall be smiles- but that shall be as it may. I dare
not fight; but I will wink and hold out mine iron. It is a simple
one; but what though? It will toast cheese, and it will endure
cold as another man's sword will; and there's an end.

BARDOLPH
I will bestow a breakfast to make you friends; and we'll
be all three sworn brothers to France. Let't be so, good Corporal
Nym.

NYM
Faith, I will live so long as I may, that's the certain of it;
and when I cannot live any longer, I will do as I may. That is my
rest, that is the rendezvous of it.

BARDOLPH
It is certain, Corporal, that he is married to Nell
Quickly; and certainly she did you wrong, for you were
troth-plight to her.

NYM
I cannot tell; things must be as they may. Men may sleep, and
they may have their throats about them at that time; and some say
knives have edges. It must be as it may; though patience be a
tired mare, yet she will plod. There must be conclusions. Well, I
cannot tell.

Enter PISTOL and HOSTESS

BARDOLPH
Here comes Ancient Pistol and his wife. Good Corporal, be
patient here.

NYM
How now, mine host Pistol!

PISTOL
Base tike, call'st thou me host?
Now by this hand, I swear I scorn the term;
Nor shall my Nell keep lodgers.

HOSTESS
No, by my troth, not long; for we cannot lodge and board a
dozen or fourteen gentlewomen that live honestly by the prick of
their needles, but it will be thought we keep a bawdy-house
straight. [Nym draws] O well-a-day, Lady, if he be not drawn! Now
we shall see wilful adultery and murder committed.

BARDOLPH
Good Lieutenant, good Corporal, offer nothing here.

NYM
Pish!

PISTOL
Pish for thee, Iceland dog! thou prick-ear'd cur of
Iceland!

HOSTESS
Good Corporal Nym, show thy valour, and put up your sword.

NYM
Will you shog off? I would have you solus.

PISTOL
'Solus,' egregious dog? O viper vile!
The 'solus' in thy most mervailous face;
The 'solus' in thy teeth, and in thy throat,
And in thy hateful lungs, yea, in thy maw, perdy;
And, which is worse, within thy nasty mouth!
I do retort the 'solus' in thy bowels;
For I can take, and Pistol's cock is up,
And flashing fire will follow.

NYM
I am not Barbason: you cannot conjure me. I have an humour to
knock you indifferently well. If you grow foul with me, Pistol, I
will scour you with my rapier, as I may, in fair terms; if you
would walk off I would prick your guts a little, in good terms,
as I may, and thaes the humour of it.

PISTOL
O braggart vile and damned furious wight!
The grave doth gape and doting death is near;
Therefore exhale.

[PISTOL draws]

BARDOLPH
Hear me, hear me what I say: he that strikes the first
stroke I'll run him up to the hilts, as I am a soldier.

[Draws]

PISTOL
An oath of mickle might; and fury shall abate.

[PISTOL and Nym sheathe their swords]

Give me thy fist, thy fore-foot to me give;
Thy spirits are most tall.

NYM
I will cut thy throat one time or other, in fair terms; that
is the humour of it.

PISTOL
'Couple a gorge!'
That is the word. I thee defy again.
O hound of Crete, think'st thou my spouse to get?
No; to the spital go,
And from the powd'ring tub of infamy
Fetch forth the lazar kite of Cressid's kind,
Doll Tearsheet she by name, and her espouse.
I have, and I will hold, the quondam Quickly
For the only she; and- pauca, there's enough.
Go to.

Enter the Boy

BOY
Mine host Pistol, you must come to my master; and your
hostess- he is very sick, and would to bed. Good Bardolph, put
thy face between his sheets, and do the office of a warming-pan.
Faith, he's very ill.

BARDOLPH
Away, you rogue.

HOSTESS
By my troth, he'll yield the crow a pudding one of these
days: the King has kill'd his heart. Good husband, come home
presently.

Exeunt HOSTESS and BOY

BARDOLPH
Come, shall I make you two friends? We must to France
together; why the devil should we keep knives to cut one
another's throats?

PISTOL
Let floods o'erswell, and fiends for food howl on!

NYM
You'll pay me the eight shillings I won of you at betting?

PISTOL
Base is the slave that pays.

NYM
That now I will have; that's the humour of it.

PISTOL
As manhood shall compound: push home.

[PISTOL and Nym draw]

BARDOLPH
By this sword, he that makes the first thrust I'll kill
him; by this sword, I will.

PISTOL
Sword is an oath, and oaths must have their course.

[Sheathes his sword]

BARDOLPH
Corporal Nym, an thou wilt be friends, be friends; an
thou wilt not, why then be enemies with me too. Prithee put up.

NYM
I shall have my eight shillings I won of you at betting?

PISTOL
A noble shalt thou have, and present pay;
And liquor likewise will I give to thee,
And friendship shall combine, and brotherhood.
I'll live by Nym and Nym shall live by me.
Is not this just? For I shall sutler be
Unto the camp, and profits will accrue.
Give me thy hand.

NYM
[Sheathing his sword] I shall have my noble?

PISTOL
In cash most justly paid.

NYM
[Shaking hands] Well, then, that's the humour of't.

Re-enter HOSTESS

HOSTESS
As ever you come of women, come in quickly to Sir John.
Ah, poor heart! he is so shak'd of a burning quotidian tertian
that it is most lamentable to behold. Sweet men, come to him.

NYM
The King hath run bad humours on the knight; that's the even
of it.

PISTOL
Nym, thou hast spoke the right;
His heart is fracted and corroborate.

NYM
The King is a good king, but it must be as it may; he passes
some humours and careers.

PISTOL
Let us condole the knight; for, lambkins, we will live.

Exeunt